US Congress is urged to approve aid and 'put a smile on a child's face'

Cash-for-poor plea by new World Bank head
Washington - The new president of the World Bank has issued an impassioned plea to the US Congress to approvefunds for aid to the world's poorest countries, writes Diane Coyle.

James Wolfensohn (pictured above at the annual meeting of the IMF-World Bank) said earlier this week: ''Money saved now for domestic purposes will lead to huge costs later. It is in the donor's own self-interest to maintain an adequate level of support."

But he also wanted to create a "results culture", he said. "We must focus on our clients and results and break the armlock that, I sense, bureaucracy has placed on this institution. If we do that then we will create a more profound change than any structural reorganisation," he said.

Mr Wolfensohn went on: "I have learned that the real test of development can be measured not by the bureaucratic approval process but by the smile on a child's face when a project is successful."

Photograph: Charles Tasnadi/AP